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MSMA Research Overview

Research projects in the Microsensors and Microactuators Laboratory all share the common thread of modeling, design, fabrication, and testing of micro-scale and nanoscale structures, and/or systems that are enabled by such structures. Some current research thrusts include:

  • Energy storage: The use of microfabricated structures to create batteries of rapid charging capability for consumer, wireless, and autonomous sensor applications;
  • Nanomanufacturing: Exploiting volumetric nanomanufacturing techniques to create materials with significant overall thickness (e.g., mm-scale) comprised of nm-scale multilayers that confer useful electrical, magnetic, or mechanical properties;
  • Electric power conversion: Exploiting microfabrication to realize ultracompact energy converters, based in part on the nanomanufacturing techniques being developed simultaneously;
  • MEMS-based permanent magnets: Creating new approaches to small-scale, spatially-dense magnetic arrays for energy harvesting and custom radiation generation;
  • Dissolvable sensors: Building wireless sensors that can dissolve in the environment in which they are embedded once their function has been completed; enabling applications such as biomedical implants for acute disease states or environmentally-friendly transient sensors;
  • Protein MEMS: Applying microfabrication approaches to natural products such as proteins to create tissues and tissue interfaces to living organisms;
  • Biointerfaces: Constructing interfaces to biosystems for both in-vitro and in-vivo applications, ranging from microneedle-based sensing and drug/vaccine delivery to interfacing with electrogenic cells in culture.

Collagen Microfibers

Advanced Microfabrication

Magnetic Devices

  • Micro Power Converters
  • Magnetic Generators
  • MEMS Resonant Compass

RF Devices

  • Ferroelectric RF Capacitors
  • RF Inductors
  • mm-Wave Antennas

Wireless Sensors

  • HT Chemical Sensors
  • Capacitive Pressure Sensors
  • RF Flow Sensors

Combustion Devices

  • Micro Pulsejets
  • Conductive-Fuel Actuators
  • Gas Generators


  • Inclined Nanoimprinting
  • Nanojets
  • MEMS for Nanopatterning


  • MicroElectrode Arrays
  • Implantable Pressure Sensors
  • Microneedles


  • Microtweezers
  • Tactile Displays
  • Piezoelectric Actuators

Carbon MEMS

  • Solar Cells
  • Electrets
  • Force sensors

MEMS Devices

  • Acoustic Sensors
  • Magnetic Relays